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10 Traits to Look for in a Best Friend

By Kellie Pearson

It can be understandably difficult to find a deep, meaningful and genuine friendship. When someone understands you, knows parts of you no one else has been exposed to, and fully accepts your complete self without any reservations, it really is a beautiful thing. To find a true friend is oftentimes comparable to discovering gold in the midst of the dirt. Best friends truly are a treasure, and we should always be reminded of their value in our lives. If you’re new in town, or looking to start on a clean slate in the friendship department, here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a best friend.

  1. Similar values – Ever heard of the old saying “bad company corrupts good character?” Growing up, an older relative more than likely told you this a few times. Having a similar set of values that you each abide by will more often than not prevent potential conflicts and fallouts from happening. When both of you value the same things, it brings a deeper understanding between the two of you.
  2. Encouraging - As Oprah Winfrey says, surround yourself with people who only lift you higher. Everyone needs a friend who inspires us to continue chasing after our dreams. Life isn’t always easy, and you’ll need someone to be cheering you on and assuring you that you can overcome obstacles that come your way. Find someone who truly will celebrate with you when something good happens rather than be secretly jealous or bitter. Being reminded of our good qualities is a deep yearning everyone craves, so look for a friend that encourages you in your ability and potential rather than a critical spirit who only brings up your shortcomings.
  3. Selfless – Be on the lookout for someone who truly does love others as they love themselves. You’ll want your friend to be someone who treats you as they’d want to be treated as well as someone who appreciates you. Even if an opportunity comes across that would prevent them from spending as much time with you, they’d still want the best for you and to see you reach your full potential.
  4. Honest – Search for someone who is always truthful with you when you ask of their opinions. If you are about to enter into a relationship or another situation they don’t approve of for a good reason, you’ll want them to be able to express that to you without fear but also with grace. It’s healthy to have an accountability partner who will “tell you like it is” when needed.
  5. Dependable – Find someone who can support you not just in the good times, but the bad times as well. Look for the friend that will follow through with their plans and make you a priority in their life. If you can be confident that they will always answer your call when you need them, even if it’s at 4 a.m., then you’ve found yourself a faithful friend.
  6. Trustworthy – What’s a best friend good for if they can’t keep your secrets? But really. Not only do you want to feel comfortable and at peace with sharing intimate information with them, you’ll also want to feel confident that they will not talk negatively about you behind your back and would be the one standing up for you if the situation should arise.
  7. Non-judgmental – If you can be completely ridiculous with someone without fearing they’ll look at you differently, you’ve found yourself a best friend. Make sure that they embrace your goofy side as well as the more normal side you present the rest of the world with.
  8. Merciful – It’s a well-known fact: we all have our off-days. It’s important to have a friend that is forgiving and merciful when you mess up or have an occasional bad mood. You’ll want to befriend someone who fully accepts apologies and doesn’t hold your slip-ups against you.
  9. Giving – As we learned in kindergarten, sharing really is caring. If you are in need of a ride because your car broke down or a dress to an event you don’t have the money to purchase at the time, you’ll want to feel comfortable with asking your friend for help without feeling like you are pulling teeth.
  10. Fun – Of course, you’ll want to always be able to have fun with your BFF, no matter what. While they don’t have to have the exact similar interests as you, having one or two hobbies, which you both enjoy doing together, can allow you both to create memories and bond.